NAROWAL: Two girls who were bitten by a snake at Sathyalah village on Saturday night later died at the emergency ward of the district headquarters hospital allegedly because of the inefficiency of the doctor.

As per locals, Malik Shahid and Malik Shahbaz, brothers of District Zakat and Ushr Committee Narowal Chairman Malik Khalid Javed had come from Lahore with their families to their native Sathyalah village in Zafarwal tehsil to celebrate Eid.

While they were asleep with their families on Saturday night, Ariba Shahbaz, 14, daughter of Malik Shahbaz, and Amina Shahid, 18, daughter of Malik Shahid suddenly got up and began to cry with pain. On inquiry, it transpired that Ariba was bitten by a snake on her hand, whereas Amina on her head.

The brothers rushed their daughters to the district headquarters hospital where they were admitted to the emergency ward.

According to Shahid, the girls were provided first aid by paramedical staff and the doctor on duty did not examine them. He said the staff nurse and her assistants at the emergency ward took blood sample of Ariba and sent it to the laboratory for test, while Amina was told that she got hit by something in her head and it was not a case of snake bite.

Anti-venom out of stock at Narowal DHQ; MS disagrees

Later, the lab report confirmed Ariba was bitten by a snake.

Shahid alleged despite the lab report confirmed Ariba was bitten by a snake, the doctor on duty did not examine any of the girls. He said despite their repeated requests, the doctor did not bother to examine the girls and kept using her mobile phone.

He said soon the condition of the girls started deteriorating and they complained of severe pain. He alleged that none of the girls was administered anti-venom drug.

Both the girls remained under treatment at the DHQ Hospital for more than five hours, he said, adding that meanwhile the doctor went home around 7:30am on Sunday after completing her night shift duty.

“At 8 O’clock, the morning shift staff came and they told us that anti-venom vaccine is out of stock.” He said at 8:30, Ariba, who was in a critical condition, breathed her last.

“Later, after the death of Ariba, the doctors referred Amina to the Mayo Hospital, Lahore, for treatment, but she expired on the way to Lahore,” Shahid said.

Amina’s brother Bilal said: “According to the duty roster of the DHQ Hospital’s emergency ward, five doctors should have been on duty, but actually there was only one doctor whose behaviour was very improper, and even insulting with us and the other patients.”

Bilal alleged when his sister’s condition worsened and she needed a ventilator, the staff told them that the operator of the only life-saving machine at the hospital was absent.

“If the hospital was short of vaccine, why my sister was admitted there and kept there for five hours,” Bilal asked, blaming the hospital staff and on duty doctor for her death.

Malik Shahid said his daughter Amina, a student of FSc pre-medical, was very intelligent as she got position in Lahore board’s matric exams and was given Rs50,000cash prize by Punjab government.She wanted to become a doctor, he added.

District Association for Human Rights,Narowal, president Mian Rafique alleged that at least three persons, including a seven-year-old child had recently died at the DHQ Hospital because of the doctors’ inefficiency. He said probes had been held against the hospital’s doctors over their negligence, but no one was punished. He demanded prompt legal and departmental action against those responsible for the girls’ death.

On the other hand, DHQ Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Latif Afzal said: “Both the (deceased) girls were treated according to the standard operating procedures (SOPs),” claiming the facility had ample stock of anti-venom and rabies vaccines.

The locals including relatives of the deceased girls strongly protested against the hospital doctors and staff, demanding Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to take notice of the situation and order departmental and legal action against those responsible for it.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2020